Anthony Mundine will walk into the ring against Shane Mosley next Wednesday knowing his career will be over if he loses to the 42-year-old former three-time world champion.
Mundine was defeated by Daniel Geale in his last contest, and knows he faces a step up in class when he takes on Mosley in a WBA international light-middleweight contest.
Although he’s lost eight of his 57 fights, Mosley has never been stopped and gone the distance with Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Vernon Forrest and Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright.
The American has also held world titles in the light-middleweight, welterweight and lightweight divisions across an illustrious 20-year career.
Mundine is hopeful victory at the Sydney Entertainment Centre will open the door for a fight with Mayweather, Alvarez or Cotto and the controversial former WBA super-middleweight champion said he had too much respect for Mosley to dish out his usual pre-fight insults.
“This is do or die,” the 38-year-old said on Tuesday.
“I’ve always said I want to fight the very best. This guy has been there and done it. He’s one of the very best and that’s the respect I am going to give him.
“I am not going to bad mouth him. I am not going to belittle him.
“You have to remember the last four defeats he’s suffered are to four of the best pound for pound fighters in the world in Alvarez, Cotto, Mayweather and Pacquiao.”
Mundine (44-5) admits it will be a tough task to get his dream fight with Mayweather, but knows a win over Mosley would hugely increase his profile in the US.
“I know everyone wants Mayweather. He’s the best fighter of our generation,” he said.
“But I believe in my ability and my talent and that’s what this fight has to showcase.
Victory against Mosley would be a huge step towards restoring his international credibility which was dented after a series of fights against inferior opponents in the wake of his points defeat to the outstanding Danish super-middleweight Mikkel Kessler in 2005.
Mundine admits he would have liked to have met Mosley five years earlier, but now boasts the experience and ring craft to face his highly-regarded opponent with confidence.
“I wanted the biggest fights after I fought Kessler, but unfortunately certain things happened for certain reasons,” he said.
“But I am not a bloke who grew up in boxing. I was in rugby league since the age of four.
“I had four amateur fights, so I’ve learned on the job.”
The defeat by Geale was a huge setback for Mundine, and he admits he allowed the Tasmanian to dictate terms due to a lack of focus in the build-up to the fight.
“Geale is a bit of a spoiler. I fought passive,” he said.
“If I have a lot more hunger and determination and more of a killer instinct I would have stopped him.
“I look back on it now … because Geale can’t sell a fight I had to go out there and say some outlandish stuff to get people talking about the fight.
“Maybe that took a lot out of me. But for this fight I don’t have to talk.
“‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley says it all.”